Unfortunately I think the 'leaving early' thing is quite the issue at any fest where you're car camping like that. Last year at Waka my boyfriend had a nasty spiderbite that we thought was blood poisoning...we were seriously concerned about my ability to get my car out or get an ambulance IN (fortunately we had to do neither).
At camp bisco, they set up an empty emergency lane for every row of cars, so basically it will be two rows of cars and you are instructed to face the direction of the emergency lane so that if needed you can just pull right out and leave. It would take some re-organizing to do it this way at roo, but they have a year and it's their fucking job to run this festival, so it's really not impossible. Although, hopefully I don't have to worry about leaving early again next year.
Of course there was going to be naysayers to this proposal. I have heard it attributed to H.L. Mencken, but I honestly don't know where the expression arises:
"The naivete of realism"
Extracted from its relationship to art criticism, this phrase I take to mean "one beholden to the intractable essence of present reality." In other words, what one can imagine is only what currently exists, and therefore represents no imagination at all.
I'm sure when the idea of Bonnaroo itself was first floated, many people in the biz would have voiced serious reservations:
"A huge music and arts festival in the middle of nowhere? Almost two hours from even a modest size metropolis? Are you nuts? Why the only way Woodstock was even considered was because it was within a two hour drive of New York City. There's no way that could work."
And yet here we are, ten years later, with perhaps the most successful and enduring festival in America. My point is, if your argument is logistics, you are succumbing to a naive vision of present reality. Of course better arrangements for parking and camping could be worked out. Of course shade structures could be erected that would provide relief, especially now that Bonnaroo owns most or all of the land.
And for every person who says they don't mind being stuck out in the back forty, I can find two or three people who hate the whole experience. I've talked to them. I've camped near them or with them. I've known people who, instead of making the trek in and out every day, simply gave up and stayed at their tent for the entire weekend.
In fact, this very year we camped with another couple who were miserable the whole time (and they were Roo veterans). And we come prepared every year with a canopy and shade tarps draped over top for maximum shade. The poor girl who was with us practically stroked out walking down to tent only (twice) with our stuff--and we use a wagon too. She never recovered, broke down in tears several times, and practically begged her boyfriend on her hands and knees to go home early. Of course, as we all know, there was no way they could go home until Sunday evening because their car was buried in a sea of tents, canopies, and other cars. Surely I think we could agree that her distress is not anomalous. In fact, if I hazard to guess, I would say several thousand people feel the same way every year and would gladly leave on Friday and Saturday but can't. And for $300 they should be able to leave if they damn well want to!
My larger point here is that for ten years we've been sold a bill of goods of "Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival" when the truth is that the experience is a "CAMPING and Music festival" with a little art, culture, and politics thrown in for good measure (and increasing corporate sponsorship). The operative word here is "camping".
What the camp-by-car system does is foster the illusion that attending Bonnaroo doesn't really require a "roughing it" experience. It breeds a false sense of security in many who attend that things aren't going to be that bad (bad in the sense of non-civilized). But of course in truth the experience of Bonnaroo is camping bordering on the extreme. I've been in KOA campgrounds and other campsites that were far more accomodating.
On the other end, Bonnaroo's organizers seem to willfully neglect that ahead of everything else, the experience they provide is one "in nature" (let's exclude VIPs and RVs for the purposes of argument). Consequently, year after year, there are attempts to mitigate the wait into the site but once your in, you're essentially on your own. I think the organizers too are lulled into a false sense of security about the overall safety of the thousands of people exposed to four days of heat, dust, rain, etc.
But the numbers don't lie. 1500+ heat related medical incidents (and how many other thousands of unreported incidents like the woman who camped with us) means that the experience of this kind of roughing it can be overwhelming to way too many people. It may sound counterintuitive, but removing automobiles from the equation I believe would actually provide the incentive for both sides (organizers and attendees) to prepare more and plan for more contingenices than what they do now. Removing cars would allow for everyone to be much closer to the venue. That in turn would mean that they could access their campsite throughout the day, replenishing themselves with their own water supplies and food and getting shade without having to fight crowds to do so. For the organizers, removing cars would force them to realize that leaving people to their own devices for four days in nature is not the wisest option. Shade pavilions, more water stations and misting tents, and medical staff actually positioned in the tent communities (they could monitor situations inside the shade pavilions) would make for a safer environment for all. Each festival goer would be issued a booklet explaining in clear detail all emergency procedures and that the pavilions were for their use to escape the heat and provide medical services.
Other measures, like a 1:00 AM cutoff of all music, might also need looking into. The number of deaths at Bonnaroo compared to similar festivals is way too high, and we know most of them are drug related. Drugs go hand in hand with the late night atmosphere of electronic/rave acts. This is a topic for another thread, but suffice it say the all night party thing brings in a certain element to Roo that is unwelcome (we camped near some folks dealing all manner of hard substances).
It's time for a reckoning of what the experience of Bonnaroo is: one with a fairly high degree of danger and risk. This festival, both from an organizer and attendee perspective, needs to take stock of the harsh truths of 80,000 people being cutoff from the rest of civilization with minimal experience in such environs. It's time for this festival to grow up a little bit.
I really don't think that removing the cars would allow everyone to be that much closer or really save that much space. It would still work out so that people who lived closer and had to make less of a trek would get there earlier and get better spots where as the people coming from 12+ hours away would get fucked and end up in the back EVERY time. At least now, it's a crapshoot and you still may get a good spot.
Suggesting that they cut off the music at 1 AM is fcking nonsense. Now you're basically asking Bonnaroo to stop doing what makes it Bonnaroo. It's one of the only fests with virtually 24 hour music, and the late nights are a large reason of why I and a large number of other people go. It seems to me like you just can't handle GA camping. With very little drugs involved, sometimes none, I can make it till 5-6 in the morning no problem.
The fact is, it IS possible to be completely prepared for pretty much everything that happens at roo short of a freak accident or a pre-existing medical condition you didn't know about. After that, everything that happens to you comes from the decisions that you make. You can blame the festival for whatever exactly you are blaming it for (being too hot? being in june in tennessee? letting you camp with your car, which almost EVERY fest does?) but in the end, the responsibility to stay safe and be smart is all on you. As long as you come prepared, know your drug/alcohol limit and account for whatever you need to account for (if you have a hard time walking, taxi's are only 5 bucks, and I usually only make 1-2 trips from campsite to centeroo a day... with all the money you spend, 40 extra bucks for 8 taxi trips is like nothing), there is a 99.9% chance that you will be fine.
If you don't like the heat, the walking, or whatever it is that you do not like, then don't go. But it is ridiculously absurd to expect that Bonnaroo is going to change what it is because you think it is too hard or too dangerous. People need to start taking responsibility for their own decisions, because most of the heat related injuries I saw this weekend were because of a lack of planning or just plain ignorance (saw dozens of kids pass out, when me or someone around tried to help them by finding their water and feeding it to them, it had turned out neither the kid passed out NOR his/her friends had any water AT ALL on them. Not even an empty bottle).
The reason that 79,000 people weren't treated for heat injuries was because they understood what they were getting themselves into and planned properly for it. If, say, 10,000+ people had heat related injuries this past weekend, then yeah, I would say that there is something wrong with the way that they run Bonnaroo and it needs to be addressed. But when virtually still 99.9% of Bonnaroo had no issues other than being somewhat uncomfortable during the hottest hours of the day, you have to understand that it is nothing but you and your decisions that stand between you and an either successful or dangerous Bonnaroo.
Man, it is outside. In June. In Tennessee. While my car provides a locking vessel for my goods, I'm not nor ever have been under the impression that I wasn't camping. There are certain things in life that you shouldn't have to have explained to you. Because, naturally it is hotter than a mother father outside, nobody should have to hold your hand and tell you to drink water or get out of the sun or take a break. In the end, you have to take care of yourself. The organization that's throwing the party shouldn't have to powder your ass for you.
However, I think a circular Centeroo (base word "center" in every sense of the word) would be cool and I think you should be able to exit easier and earlier if needed.
Exactly. Bonnaroo is a festival for adults. Sometimes there are kids there, but they are with their families. The fact if you are anywhere from age 16+ you should have taken plenty of science and biology classes in high school to understand how your body works and that it needs hydration in order to stay working properly. You should also know that a lot of heat can dehydrate you really quickly. Finally, if you DO choose to use drugs, you should also understand what they do to your body. Failing to understand any of these things is no ones fault but your own, and while it would be nice for Bonnaroo to spell these things out for you as if you were a fucking child, they dont HAVE to. Because it is common sense. And they have so many things to worry about, organizing a massive festival with huge names and trying to figure out the logistics of 80,000 people all converging on one spot withing 12-24 hours. Yet, still, they DO try to help as much as they can, and really try to drive home the point that you NEED to hydrate while at Bonnaroo.
Post by bartman1972 on Jun 15, 2011 14:37:55 GMT -5
people complaining about complainers...golden!
i welcome the critiques. 'roo puts out a service just like any business, and if some customers aren't happy they need to listen...it's good business sense. i see some decent suggestions here, a few off the wall ones, but they should be listened to with and open mind, nevertheless.
this was my first year and i've got complaints even though i had a great time.
i'm doing RV from now on after 2 roo's. i can't figure out any other way to sleep till noon
Only other way is to score the campsite we had near Pod 2 in the woods. Even then, noon might be pushing it.
There's another way- bring battery powered tent fans. I had two of them this year made by 02 that used magnetic plates to stick to the side/roof of the tent, and with them blowing directly on me, I was able to sleep in until 10:30-noon every day. It was awesome. They're $30 at Dick's and worth every penny. When I woke up Saturday after being at Pretty Lights/Ratatat until 5 AM, I was shocked to see that it was 11:52 AM...I didn't think sleeping that late in a tent at Roo was humanly possible.